Representation of Attorneys and Judges in Legal Disciplinary and Judiciary Commission Proceedings:
In the last twenty-five years, there has been a growth in the number of legal malpractice cases against lawyers. Additionally, in the last twenty years, there has been an increase in disciplinary actions brought by the Louisiana Bar Association’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC), and attorneys have found themselves as respondents in connection with “Bar Complaints” investigated by ODC. The Louisiana Supreme Court has supervisory jurisdiction over such matters.
REPRESENTATIONS BEFORE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT
1. Costello vs. Hardy, 864 So. 2d 129 (La. 2004)
Representation of attorney Ashton Hardy, against claim for legal malpractice in failing to provide for a stipend within a will. The Louisiana Supreme Court held that plaintiff failed to establish the three elements of a malpractice case, upholding the lower court’s finding that there was no basis for a legal malpractice claim. The Court did reverse Hardy’s reconventional judgment, holding that the record did not support a finding of “malice” by plaintiff attorney.
2. In Re: Ivan David Warner and Steven Joseph Rando, 21 So. 3d 218 (La. 2009) (Oral Argument before Louisiana Supreme Court April 18, 2009)
Representation of respondent-client Steven Rando who was charged with violating the Confidentiality provisions of the Supreme Court Disciplinary Rules. The Louisiana Supreme Court held that the “confidentiality” requirement of the Rules violated the First Amendment of the Constitution as a “content based” restriction on speech and the charges against respondents, Rando and Ivan Warner, were dismissed.
3. In Re: A Matter Under Investigation, Jane and John Does vs. Charles C. Foti, et al, 15 So. 3d 972 (La. 2009) (Oral Arguemnt before Louisiana Supreme Court October 13, 2008
Representation of Dr. Anna Pou during the Public Records Act argument before the Louisiana Supreme Court in the Jane and John Does case, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the Public Records Act exempts District Attorney and Attorney General investigation files from Public Records requests until final adjudication of a criminal case.
REPRESENTATION BEFORE LOUISIANA JUDICIARY COMMISSION
4. In Re: Judge Martha Sassone, 959 So. 2d 859 (La. 6/29/07)
(Oral Argument before Louisiana Supreme Court May 22, 2007
The defense of 24th Judicial District Judge Martha Sassone in connection with Louisiana Judiciary Commission charges against her. The matter was subject to review before the Louisiana Supreme Court on May 22, 2007.
In a divided court opinion, sanctions against Judge Sassone of a brief suspension were upheld by the majority of the Court and thereafter she returned to the bench.
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS/ QUI TAM
Representation in complex litigation requires extensive experience and full utilization of the law firm resources - attorney and staff. "Team Hailey, McNamara" represented Martin Marietta (Lockheed Martin) in defense of a Qui Tam (whistle blower) suit brought by a former employee. The suit alleged mischarging of payroll and computer research programs and alleged the existence of defective parts on the external tank of the Space Shuttle. Pretrial preparation and motion practice lasted several years and culminated in a two week federal trial in which the jury returned a "no liability" verdict in favor of Martin in Ex rel Eric Walle v Martin Marietta (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of LA).
Lockheed Martin's New Orleans Corporate Counsel, Tom Fierke (2nd from right) presented "Quarterback" award to "Team Hailey McNamara. (Left to right Ruth Curcuru, paralegal; Rick Simmons (lead counsel), Kurt Engelhardt (motion practice and litigation support); Reggie Seay (attorney handling computer issues), Tom Fierke, and Susan Crovette.
Representation of Government contractors - Litton/Avondale Shipyards, Martin Marietta (Lockheed Martin) - whistle blower (Qui Tam) cases, internal investigations, FCA (civil false claims)
Representation in sexual harassment cases - company executive, public school board executive.
Representation of insurance clients - AIG, Westport, CNA, Admiral Insurance, State Farm, Home-REM Insurance.
Representation of manufacturers - John Deere, Black & Decker, Homelite, Tampax, Echo, Intermedics, Richards Manufacturing, Trailmobile, Chrysler.
Representation of Louisiana attorneys in legal malpractice lawsuits.
Representation of Directors and Officers.
Representation of public officials - District Attorneys, Judiciary in civil rights cases.
Representation of CEO and attorneys for failed financial institutions in lawsuits brought by FSLIC/FDIC after institution closures.
COORDINATION OF LOUISIANA REPRESENTATION WITH NATIONAL COUNSEL
National law firms frequently require local representation in Louisiana for clients who have national strategies in defending existing or threatened civil litigation or in protecting the clients' interest in any civil and/or criminal investigations. Hailey McNamara coordinates such representation in Louisiana and provides local insight in the development of such national strategies. Examples of such coordinated representation include:
Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago, IL (representation of BP's Vice President of Drilling Operations during BP oil spill 2010-2013)
Debevoise & Plimpton, New York, NY (representation of Tampax in toxic shock cases - 1983 to present)
Medes & Mount, New York, NY (representation of London-based insurers of Judiciary members - 2000 to present)
Covington & Burling, Washington D.C. (representation of health care providers during Department of Justice investigation - 1997)
Williams & Connelly, Washington D.C. (representation in criminal appeal to U.S. Supreme Court - 2001)
Latham & Watkins, Los Angeles, CA (representation of health care providers's during Department of Justice investigation - 1994)
McDermott, Will & Emery, Los Angeles, CA (representation of health care providers - 1998)
Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin, New York, NY (representation of local shipyard during buyout from parent company - 1989)
Neal & Harwell, Nashville, TN (representation in criminal investigation and indictment in connection with granting hospital certification of need in Louisiana - 1985)
COMPLEX AND SPECIAL LITIGATION (Civil RICO, Civil Rights, Commercial Fraud cases).
Substantial number of representations of Civil RICO cases.
Defense of Stephen Edwards in Astoria vs Governor Edwin Edwards, Stephen Edwards et al. Astoria, a losing applicant for Louisiana casino permits, brought suit in the Eastern District based upon allegations contained in a federal indictment against Governor Edwards, his son Stephen and others in the Middle District. The Indictment alleged bribery, wire fraud and mail fraud in connection with the award of casino permits. Despite the convictions on some of the charges, the Eastern District Court Dismissed the civil suit based upon motion practice.
Governor Edwards along with Rick Simmons, counsel for his son Stephen Edwards, attend a pretrial hearing regarding Stephen's representation in the Middle District casino case. Baton Rouge, La (2000)>>
Other Civil RICO cases
Defense of Senator Michael O'Keefe Sr. against allegations of insurance fraud in connection with the demise of Physicians National. A class action civil RICO lawsuit brought by a group of doctors was dismissed by the U.S. District Court (1997).
Defense of Bobby Tardo, President of the LaFouche Parish Council, against allegations of bribery in the award of public contracts. The trial of the lawsuit, brought by a losing bidder, resulted in a defense verdict. (1989)
Defense of Governor Edwards and his two business partners in a lawsuit brought by East Ascension Hospital alleging that the award of a Certificate of Need for a new hospital was the result of bribery. The lawsuit was dismissed after acquittals in the related indictment. (1987)
Clyde Charles, after serving 19 years of imprisonment in Angola, was released when DNA testing proved his innocence of rape charges. He brought a lawsuit against the District Attorney's office for failing to timely release the "rape kit" for analysis. Based upon motion practice the court dismissed the civil rights action and related claims by Charles. (2001)
Representation in cases involving internet fraud, unfair trade practices, software piracy, non-compete agreements, interference with business contracts, presentation of forged notes and various other commercial transactions.